Movie Mirrors Index


(1932 b 86')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a play by Chester de Vonde and Kilbourn Gordon, a crippled man rules African natives with magic and seeks revenge against the daughter of the man who stole his wife and injured his spine.

Flint (Walter Huston) in a wheelchair performs magic for the natives, enabling him to control the region of the Juju circle. He sends Hogan (Mitchell Lewis) to Capetown for the daughter of the man who stole his wife and maimed his legs. Ann (Virginia Bruce) says good-bye to the missionaries in the convent. To keep him from talking, Flint shoots a native as if he were a thief. Flint gives a disheveled Ann a drink and humiliates her, and he sends a note to her father Gregg (C. Henry Gordon) to come get his ivory.

Kingsland (Conrad Nagel) arrives drugged on a root, saying he is a doctor. Kingsland drinks brandy and says he is a mess. Flint says he is the law and forbids giving Kingsland the root. Kingsland tells Ann she has black fever and should stop drinking brandy; he wants to help her. Ann kisses him. Tula (Lupe Velez) asks Kingsland to look at a scratch she made on her leg. She gives him root and kisses him. Flint has Cookie (Forrester Harvey) set up a coffin with a skeleton. Flint shows Ann a native voodoo sacrifice of a woman, and he puts on a mask. She finds the others drunk.

Flint punishes Tula for giving Kingsland root, and he puts Kingsland in a swamp to let leeches suck him clean. Ann gives him water and later nurses him. Kingsland tells Ann he loves her. Flint sends Fuzzy (Curtis Nero) with a gun, saying he will turn over Ann for sacrifice when her father is killed. Kingsland lost his craving and operates on Flint after Fuzzy brings medicine for Ann.

Flint tells Fuzzy to watch and shoot the white man Gregg. Flint tells Gregg he stopped his slave trade and mutilation of blacks. He kept Ann in a convent for 18 years and then degraded her. Ann says that Kingsland is hers after men degraded her in the Zanzibar house. Flint tells Gregg that Ann is his daughter; but Gregg informs Flint his wife was pregnant, and Ann is Flint's daughter. Kingsland confirms it. Flint tries to stop Gregg from leaving and then sends word to give him safe passage; but he is brought back after being shot by Fuzzy. Kingsland cannot save him, and the natives come for him and Ann. Flint gives Kingsland gems for Ann and sends the others through a tunnel, while he tricks the natives by replacing Ann with the skeleton. Flint prays for Ann, and sacrifices himself while the others escape. In the final scene on a boat Kingsland and Ann plan to wed.

This story of a man turned sadistic in order to gain revenge finally reveals he has tormented his own daughter. His own petty tyranny destroyed himself.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index